The Visakhapatnam police on Wednesday arrested Professor K Yedukondalu, the head of the Sanskrit Department at Andhra University, who was accused of sexually harassing female students.
The Three-Town police station arrested Yedukondalu based on a complaint from students of the Department, who alleged that he made lewd comments on women, and pressurised them for sexual favours.
Yedukondalu was booked under Sections 354-A (Sexual Harassment) and 509 (Insulting the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, the professor was later granted bail and released on Wednesday evening, according to reports.
The entire incident came to light after students from the University reportedly manhandled Yedukondalu, after multiple women students complained that he was sexually harassing them.
Quoting sources, Deccan Chronicle reported that the professor allegedly asked the women to meet him personally to collect their hall tickets for the Sanskrit exams. When they refused, he did not allow them to write the exam.
"The professor had gone to the extent of asking sexual favours in return for good marks and covering up minor attendance shortage. He would not hesitate to use phrases such as ‘I like you’ or ‘I love you’ and would ask us to come to his room in private for special classes," a PG student told The Hindu.
Yedukondalu is also a repeat offender, as he had tried to shield a research scholar who had allegedly sought sexual favour from a female student in 2014. A four-member committee was formed, and the professor was suspended from administrative posts for two years. Despite this, he was reappointed as the head of the Sanskrit department in 2016.
The matter even came up before the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday, which was hearing a plea on irregular appointments in the University.
The bench said that the allegations were a matter of grave concern, if such people were continuing their activities, and asked for a separate PIL to be filed on the matter.
After the incident surfaced, Andhra Pradesh HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao ordered a probe, and asked the registrar to form a committee.
He also said that the committee would be headed by a sitting district judge.